Loyal fans of “The Good Doctor” needed a prescription for disappointment this week when the residents and staff of TV’s San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital were on hiatus. The ABC network opted not to compete with the closing episodes of “Dancing with the Stars,” per the International Business Times on October 28. Instead, programmers chose to re-air the Season 3 premiere, “Disaster,” on October 28.

Like many other networks, ABC may have considered not competing with an unpredictably contentious World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, now set for Game 7.

The anxiety will end for the followers of “The Good Doctor,” but will soar to stratospheric levels for Dr. Murphy (Freddie Highmore) and Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) on November 4’s sixth episode of Season 3, “45-Degree Angle.” Their future as surgeons is at stake for all the residents, but for Brown and Murphy, managing life itself may be in the balance.

The acclaimed medical drama sometimes takes hits for having too much heart in dealing with the doctor and the patients in storylines, but one medical expert had high praise for the current season’s approach with earning lead surgeries. Her reflections indicated that the series was right on target in that regard, as reported by ABC 7 New York on October 29.

From cheers to supreme challenges

No one was more supportive of Dr.

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Murphy than Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang) on October 21’s installment, “First Case, Second Base.” Dr. Murphy was initially overcome when he realized that a Japanese procedure he had studied extensively for his lead surgery was too complex for him to perform, but not too complex for him to guide a team of seasoned surgeons through during an esophageal resection for a cancer patient. He surrendered his opportunity for the good of the patient, and the entire team benefited from the learning and experience.

Dr. Lim assured Shaun Murphy that he would have another chance at lead surgery, and cheered the cooperative spirit in the OR with a “Yay, Team,” despite Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) objecting. He countered that the new chief of surgery was “ruining” “The Good Doctor,” with too much coddling and not enough tough love.

In a preview of “45-Degree Angle,” Dr. Lim gets tough, with nano-second speed, after Dr.

Murphy scolds his nurse for not presenting a clamp in the right way, and orders her out of the OR. Communication and professional tact are tripping points for the savant surgeon, who already tried to hand-off a sensitive session of information to Dr. Park. In a climactic scene, the Chief of Surgery declares: "That will be the end of your residency,” if any such incident occurs again. Freddie Highmore is consistently outspoken in relating that his portrayal of autism through his character on “The Good Doctor” should never pigeonhole any person with autism.

The doctor is learning to take leaps without many of his familiar safety nets, but the perches are becoming higher.

On another personal front, Dr. Claire Brown is still reeling and walking on the dark, destructive side after hours in the wake of her mother's death. The preview reports that the spiraling behavior from the resident who always holds everything together while suppressing every emotion starts to provoke “ramifications in the workplace.”

One real-life surgeon, however, is a fan of “The Good Doctor,” particularly in this season. Dr.

Jennifer Ashton, Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News, reflected on her process of learning to become a surgeon in light of “The Good Doctor.”

True-life medical memories

Dr. Jennifer Ashton has been a very familiar face to viewers for decades now, serving as a medical expert for several networks. She is still a practicing OB-GYN and noted to the New York ABC affiliate that watching the most recent episodes of “The Good Doctor” “brought back memories for me” along her path to becoming a surgeon.

Dr. Ashton reminds us that the 12-year track to becoming a surgeon is filled with continual practice, often with simple procedures, and that “an attending surgeon is always there.” Research verifies a correlation between surgical success rates and practice. “Everyone has to start somewhere,” Ashton adds.

On the drama that often depicts complex medical cases, the residents, like Dr. Brown and Dr. Dark (Will Yun Lee), rejoice in the opportunity to remove a gallbladder or an appendix.

The procedures may be routine, but the finer points to success as a surgeon are anything but typical on this season of “The Good Doctor."

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